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LUF Propitiation Post #1: 'Coming Soon!'

From 2008-2012, I managed and wrote for a wildly popular "Christian End Times Prophecy Blog" called "Look Up Fellowship" that generated thousands of published posts, three unique but related podcasts with me as the Host, a Guest Speaker invite to a "Biblical Prophecy Conference" in another state, and several appearances on other popular Christian radio shows and podcasts.

Sadly, 99% of the content I was responsible for was pure nonsense. Don't believe me? Go see it for yourself. Lord, have mercy and please forgive me! You can read more about that if you want to.

In 1 John 4:10, there's a word often translated as "propitiation" or "atoning sacrifice" even. This legal term means that someone deserved punishment for something they did or said. However, the consequences of that action are taken away and given to someone else ("propitiated"). The punishment is not simply forgotten, but removed from the guilty and placed somewhere else. Someone is still punished. John says this is the basis for how we understand God's love for us through His Son -- that Jesus Christ took upon Himself the guilt, shame, and punishment that was due to us and we were given a new, restored relationship with the Father!

Yes, I've received the Lord's forgiveness, removed all traces of my past producing such things wherever I could, and have made my peace with it. I thought I removed all traces of my past producing such things wherever I could until I recently learned that the website is still accessible online! Worse, it appears "locked" somehow and I can't remember my account info so that I can login to delete the blog entirely! As a result, there's a part of me that wants to try and make amends even though I know I don't need to earn God's forgiveness since I already have it.

With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to look back at things I used to firmly believe in and at the articles I wrote several years ago, but to do so through the lens of experience, maturity, and truth while attempting to sort of "rewrite" them if I could from a Lutheran perspective. Plus, it will get me writing and publishing again, which is something I've been feeling the urge to do here for a few months now. I can only pray that it will also help others who are currently stuck where I once was.

So, without further adieu, please enjoy this "LUF Propitiation Post" titled as such to always remind me what the Lord did and continues to do for me despite my good-intentioned, well-meaning, but grossly non-Christian past in many respects. Hopefully, it will be one of many more to come, God willing.

LUF Propitiation Post #1 
Coming Soon! 
Originally Published 7-21-2008 
Did you ever get the feeling that something big was about to happen? Perhaps it's more like a sneaking suspicion that everything happens for a reason and that all the things that have dominated our news headlines so far this year -- earthquakes, famines, wars, political unrest, economic distress, moral decline -- are all part of a much bigger story. Do you often wonder about the future and worry about your place in all this mess? Rest assured, you're not alone! Look Up Fellowship is an online ministry that was created to serve as an outpost for all things related to Biblical Prophecy. The goal is to shine a light on a topic that many well-meaning Christians (through no fault of their own) have been kept in the dark on. For the past few years now I've had similar concerns. Fortunately, I've learned that despite all the madness that surrounds us there is a way out, there is an escape, and we can take comfort knowing that our lives can be eternally secure if we want them to be. My goal with Look Up Fellowship is to help those who are looking to make sense of this senseless world by using the Holy Bible and the prophecies contained in it as our guide. If you've ever wondered what the Bible has to say about what's happening in the world today you've come to the right place because our goal is to find out together. Please join me in helping to spread the word that even though the world may seem like it's out of control there is One who is complete control -- and it's all going exactly according to His plan!

That was the very first entry I published for Look Up Fellowship a little more than 12 years ago.

Sure, it doesn't sound all that bad even though it does open with a not-so-subtle acknowledgment that we should always trust our feelings over-and-above everything else and that the news headlines of the day "confirm" the truths found in the Word of God. It also sets up this "Super Christians With Secret Knowledge" type of of environment too.

Little did I know that that type of mentality would continue to be nurtured over time until it eventually grew into a full-blown Demogorgon of False Doctrine.

I do like that I at least linked to an online version of the Holy Bible, hinted at eternal salvation, and pointed out how God is omnipotent at all times.

I wish I would've cited some specific Bible verses to at least try and support where I was coming from and why though.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, I thank God that He lead me away from the sin of false teaching to the safety of pure doctrine and truth.

NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just your average everyday Christian, Corporate Healthcare Recruiting Manager, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast in Buffalo, NY. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as 'an informal Public Journal of sorts' about my own experiences and journey." So if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, "Praise the Lord! Thanks be to God!" but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor at all times. Trust, but always verify. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this lengthy disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to "Confessional Lutheranism" and one who recently escaped an American-Evangelical-Non-Denominational mindset a little more than 7 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you're a Lifelong Lutheran who believes that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way back into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but so that I can also repent of my sin and learn the whole truth myself. With that in mind, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran B-A-S-I-C-S was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little more "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavily influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical demanding I correct them or take them down entirely, but because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing and sanctifying work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life from then until now (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the Holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my own Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I will defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages too since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean by that! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#Trending" at the time, but is about all the things that I'm studying or thinking about myself at the moment instead. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts where I've done all the research for you already to help save you valuable time). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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